I’ve been thinking of posting but have been unable to the last few days for one reason or another. There were nights when I didn’t even open my laptop as was customary at the end of the day. Then those days that I did, I ended up browsing for other things — not having the inclination to pay the blog a visit. I’ve been busy.
But of course of this Monday morning, I cannot help but be drawn to what has become a habit of speaking out loud here on my corner of the web. I thought I’d start by giving an update on what I’ve been up to lately.
The little tyke has started kindergarten which is a new phase for us all — Mom, Dad and Angelo. While he had started Pre-K in the same school he’s in right now, I can see the big difference in terms of the whole set up — from school supplies to the almost all new wardrobe no thanks to the fact that he’s taller this year. It’s also remarkable how he’s b een so excited about school — seeing old friends and meeting new ones. I listen to him talk and I watch the animated expression on his face and I feel like wanting to freeze the moment and just replay it over and over.
I have also found a new hobby as Alan noticed. I’ve been collecting small packets of beads from the trips home and from the trips to the theme parks (where they let you fill a bag with your choice of beads or stones for a flat fee, for as long as you can close the bag) tha past couple of years but I have not seriously gotten into beading. Crafty me, I’ve managed to string together an ID necklace (to hang the ID on) and repaired some pearl necklace and bracelet clasps that had gotten damaged. I also made it a point to save bracelets or necklaces that had gotten damaged one way or another thinking I can probably repair it or find some use for it at a later time.
When I left Manila in 2000, it was also the time when Swarovski crystal bracelets were very popular and were being worn in groups, layered on the wrist to create a beautiful rainbow of colors. I left with at least 10 of those bracelets which I have to this day. They have not lost their sparkle, thanks to periodic soaking in soapy liquid. My sister, sister-in-law and friends have likewise gifted me various accessories handmade from the Philippines through the years. Everytime I manage a trip to Divisoria, I go to a favorite native aisle along Ilaya where I have picked up cow bone and wood beads. The last time I was there in June, I also made it a point to visit Wellmanson, known for its distinctive supply of notions and other craft supplies. I picked up a pair of plyers there which I am glad I did as they cost twice as uch here in New York.
I always go to buy a “banig” of sewing needles, some sewing thread, crochet hooks, perhaps some garter. Since I’m very handy with the needle and thread, I try to do my sewing repairs at home instead of paying someone else to do it. While these supplies are available here, they are much more expensive and available in smaller quantities unless you are going to a sewing supply store specifically.
So through the years, I’ve managed to get bits and pieces which I haven’t really had the chance to work with until now. It helped that I had always bought beads to bag in a specific color scheme — so it’s not like I have a hodge podge of different rainbow colored beads. I have a good handful of blue beads in various shapes and sizes which can make for a good bracelet or two, and perhaps a choker if I chose to make one.
I have received tons of inspiration from two friends who have their own handmade jewelry line (more on this later) — and which was also the reason why I spent an inordinate amount of time browsing the accessories at the department store sales over the Labor Day weekend. No, it was not to purchase, but it was to look for ideas on how to group items together or how to do a progression of beads for necklaces, bracelets and earrings. I examined bead wiring up close and hope to achieve the same clean worksmanship eventually — through practice and more studying.
I’ve visited several bead related sites online through the previous weeks where I learned more about the differente types of tools and implements. I spent many lunch hours at beadage.net learning the basics and getting ideas. One of the articles that really made an impression on me and gave me great ideas about possible projects was a piece on “Recycling Beads: Creating something new from something old” which helped me to create my first completed (well, almost!) project which was a charm bracelet.
So I’ve been busy crafting — and getting ready, too, to start knitting my first scarves for this year’s winter as fall starts creeping upon us. Busy bee, I am.